Your preference sucks!

Today I saw a man buying a country music CD at the mall. “Country music?!?!”, I asked him, with a look of disgust.

Later, a lady at the grocery store was buying cherry Pop-Tarts. I explained to her that the strawberry-flavored Pop Tarts are far superior in every way, and that she definitely needed to make the switch.

Finally, I went to a friend’s house for dinner, but later refused to eat once I found out that he served a brand of ham other than the brand I prefer.

What kind of person acts this way? Unfortunately… Cigar smokers do.

Lately I’ve been noticing more and more acts of snobbery being committed by members of the cigar smoking community online and in my local shops. The comments I’m hearing range from polite to downright insulting, but the underlying message is the same: “your preference sucks.”

For those of us in the United States, 2009 will likely be the toughest, most oppressing year ever, in terms of our ability to enjoy a cigar. The poor economy will make it tough to justify the purchase, and even make it harder for local shops to remain in business. The restrictions on where we can smoke will reduce our opportunity. Upcoming tax increases could put cigars out of our financial reach.

Let’s not make it even tougher on our fellow brothers and sisters of the leaf by insulting their preference. Just like coffee or tea, Coke or Pepsi, people have taste preferences that can never be boiled down to a right or wrong choice. Even the cheapest cigars have a distinct flavor that somebody loves. Even the most expensive and highly rated cigars taste horrible to some people.

The bottom line is that the only person who should tell you what you like is… YOU.

So whether it’s a Montecristo or Macanudo, Acid or Aurora, Fonseca or Fuente, enjoy your cigar, respect your brothers and sisters of the leaf, and have a safe and happy 2009!

15 Comments on “Your preference sucks!”

  1. Amen Brother! I’m the first guy to admit that I’m cheap, but I’ve also found that I’d rather get a box of Sancho Panza’s then a single Davidoff. Its not that I don’t like the Davidoff or Opus X, for that matter, its just that for roughly the same price I can get a box of great value cigars that I like.

  2. You get a lot of this problem with wine enthusiasts, and it leads to people being afraid to get into the hobby. Or with certain foods: here in the South frog legs and pigs feet are considered the kind of thing that only poor and desperate people eat, but they’re also delicacies in France.

    The fanatics are always going to argue amongst themselves, but I think there should be a code of ethics to always be kind to the newcomer. Hey, you’re curious about cigars and bought a Swisher Sweet? Great! Bring one with you next time, and I’ll let you try it side by side with a Partagas natural that’s been in a humidor. Hey, you liked the little Partagas? Here’s the name of my buddy at the cigar shop. He’ll hook you up.

    A year later, that newbie is going to be criticizing your choice in lighters, and then you can enjoy arguing. :)

  3. Well spoken. I enjoy listening to and reading reviews of various cigars but it’s always of cigars out of my price range. I’d love to hear other smokers takes of less expensive brands that we “Average Joe’s” smoke (in the $2-$3 range. Maybe that’s just me).

  4. Some people should remember what their mother taught them so long ago…
    If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
    Then again, maybe their mamas didn’t raise them right.

  5. Thanks for the great comments guys!
    Hey Oblate, let me know specifically what cigars you have in mind, I’ll be happy to review them!

  6. JoeBob, among the “cheapies” I’ve smoked and enjoy(ed) are Las Cabrillas, La Paloma, Five Star,Palama Real, and my fav’ cheapie, Don Rafael, in the robusto or/and toro sizes. Anyone else care to chime in their opinion on these or other affordable cigars? I usually buy bundles from various outfits when they’re on sale, as I am on a tight budget but I enjoy my cigars.

  7. I’d be happy to liberate my fair share of that collection from someone who is clearly incapable of determining what “he” likes.

    That stuff just ticks me off.

  8. I recently encountered an example of the snobbery you mention Joe. As I am sure most people are aware. CA recently released their top 25 of 2008. I saw a poster that was complaining about how he has several thousands of dollars of cigars in his collection, all purchased based upon CA’s recommendations, and because they gave the number 1 slot to a cigar that had a lower overall rating than some of the others, he was now confused about how to purchase cigars. It was really quite sad to be honest. I absolutely agree with you, that people need to decide for themselves whether or not a cigar works for them or not. The boom of the 90’s really drove that point home for me. There have been cigars that are considered to be “elite” that have left me quite flat to be honest. On the other hand one of my “go to” smokes is a 2-3USD Nicaraguan called La Finca. Been enjoying these for many years now. I enjoy tasting and reviewing cigars, but as my guide to recommendations states, it ultimately is the person smoking the cigar that has to determine whether or not they like it. Our tastes are very individual and very much are subjective. Thanks for the article Joe!

  9. I read that post on CA’s site. I can see several sides to that argument…it’s worth a post of it’s own.
    La Finca was the 1st cigar I’d ever owned a box of. Not a bad cigar at all, especially for the price. Do you get yours in the ammo case?

  10. Very astute and timely comments. As a newbie to cigar smoking, I am intimidated by the vast array of smokes out there. It is easier to buy a $3 smoke than a $20 when just trying something new. I have smoked quite a few cigars that I did not care for at all, and I would like to see a cigar compared to others that are similar in reviews. That would help me expand the smokes that I am likely to enjoy.

  11. Joe Bob — excellent post, my friend! I have ten years experience as a retail tobacconist, and I heartily endorse your views. We can’t criticize people for their palates, nor should we be intimidating newcomers. In my previous job at Old Virginia Tobacco Company, a customer came in on a regular basis to buy Ramrods or Rum-Runners or whatever the name was for those liquor infused cheroots. His name was Al. We invited Al into the Brotherhood of the Leaf, and used our experience with cigars to help him define, then refine, his palate. Within a couple years he was enjoying Ashton VSGs and other full-bodied smokes. Had we treated him like a Blunt-smoking rube, we’d have lost out on a good friend and regular customer (sorry, gotta keep thinking retail).

  12. I agree, smoke ’em if you got ’em

  13. this is a nice grain of truth. Elitism ruins the camaraderie that comes with sharing a time with other people with similar interests and hobbies.

  14. Saint Jimbob says:

    Amen, JoeBob. Another rancor I’ve seen is the “If Cigar Aficionado thinks it’s great, than anyone that likes it is a sheep” line of thinking. Say what you will about CA, their ratings system, and the people that take them as gospel, but if I happen to like a cigar that CA rated highly, don’t insult my taste by calling me a sheep. That kind of crappage doesn’t cut it either.

  15. rockstar2577 says:

    Amen!

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